Landlord Volunteering Policy

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For the Accredited Plus Standard

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MSH Landlord Volunteering Policy


1.

Introduction

Manchester Student Homes (MSH) on behalf of The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University recognises that volunteering can be good for the individual, the community and the organisation. Landlords and/or Agents volunteering in the community are one of the key aspects of the Accredited Plus Standard. Social Responsibility is one of the core strategic goals for The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, and landlord volunteering can play a part in supporting this aim.

Scope

This policy is a guide to those landlords who wish to meet the accredited plus standard. It is also for other landlords who may wish to do some volunteering, but not necessarily to attain the accredited plus standard. It may also be a good source of reference for our partners and stakeholders.

3.

Roles and Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the housing caseworker to manage the organisation of our landlord volunteering. All MSH colleagues may be involved to some extent with volunteering activities in order to meet service objectives and this involvement may create opportunities for landlords to get involved with, and meet these goals. Volunteering opportunities will be organised throughout the year, many to coincide with the student calendar, others may be a unique oneoff event.

4.

General Principles

We are proud of our landlord volunteers, and this has gone someway to showing our landlords in a positive light to students, partners, agencies, and community members due to the benefits for the community achieved by the MSH volunteering initiative.

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The following points are intrinsic to the volunteering:

4.1

A+ Landlords and/or Agents will be required to carry out 10 hours of volunteering throughout the academic year and every year the landlord intends to retain the accreditation;

4.2

All volunteering hours should ideally be gained through activities organised by MSH, although landlords can do 5 hours of volunteering for a purpose of their own choosing. These 5 hours must be gained through activities of an altruistic nature. Examples are: landlords volunteering in their own areas of expertise for the benefit of others or through charitable causes of interest to them. Preferably within the communities where their student properties are located, housing oriented, or for the benefit of students;

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Landlords and/or Agents are able to select MSH volunteering activities to suit their own preferences and it is encouraged for landlords to opt for activities that are varied as this gives a wider exposure to the diverse campaigns MSH promotes;

4.4

Landlords and/or Agents for whom it is not logistically possible to get involved in activities in Manchester may carry out volunteering locally to them with supplementary desk based tasks as instructed by MSH;

4.5

Activities that are external to MSH will be required to be signed off by the event organiser or by completion of our own volunteering form as evidence of attendance;

4.6

Landlords and/or Agents taking part in external activities to MSH will gather one testimonial from the event organiser. Landlords and/or Agents will also provide a 600 to 800 written word account that details the event and the experience for the volunteer attending;

4.7

Where possible, events organised by MSH will be attended by a member of MSH staff, or a representative of one of our partners;

4.8

MSH is committed to ensure all activities (that are led by MSH) will be managed from a Health and Safety point of view and have risk assessments in place. These activities have public liability insurance;

4.9

Landlords and/or Agents who accrue hours through events external to MSH, are responsible for ensuring a risk assessment is created for the external activity. MSH is not responsible for the risk assessment or the public liability insurance for these activities;

4.10

The University of Manchester cannot be held responsible for any harm that may come to a landlord due to them volunteering for an event or organisation not organised by the University or one of our partners;

4.11

MSH activity - personal protective equipment (P.P.E.) will be provided when necessary to ensure volunteers are safe. Landlords and/or Agents must utilise the P.P.E. for their own safety;

4.12

Landlords and/or Agents will be encouraged to disseminate any useful information or messages to the student occupants of their properties for educational purposes;

4.13

Some events may involve students or community members volunteering alongside landlords and MSH hopes both groups will benefit from working alongside each other;

4.14

It is acknowledged that not all of our landlords may be in a position to carry out more of the physically demanding activities, in which case they can do solely desk based volunteering;

4.15

At frequent intervals throughout the year landlords will be advised by MSH of their total of hours accrued so they can factor in their volunteering requirements alongside their other commitments;

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If a landlord fails to meet the minimum volunteering hours, by the annual deadline of 30th September, they will be notified. Subsequently, the accredited plus status will be removed and it will revert to the standard accreditation;

4.18

If a Landlord exceeds the minimum of ten hours any additional hours can be carried over to the following year.

Application for Accredited Plus standard 

Generally, a Landlord and/or Agent will have to have been registered with the standard accreditation for one year before they can be considered for the accredited plus application.



Once an application is received, MSH will assess the application against the following criteria: o

The Landlord and/or Agent can demonstrate that they follow the correct procedures in all aspects of business e.g. sign-ups, deposits, repairs, complaints, disputes, fire etc;

o

To demonstrate a commitment to continuous professional development by attending relevant training events;

o

To provide evidence of participation in professional activities in the private rental sector;

o

To not charge fees outside of the rent or a deposit;

o

To not charge a Retainer over the summer period without providing access to the property.

Landlords and/or Agents should read the application guidance carefully, which is available on request. 5.1

Landlords and/or Agents awarded Accreditation Plus status will receive preferential advertising treatment on the MSH website. Accredited status is subject to the Landlord and/or Agent re-registering and re-confirming their acceptance of the Code of Standards and Code Enforcement on an annual basis.

5.2

Landlords and/or Agents must tell MSH immediately of any circumstances which may affect their A plus accredited status.

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Moseley Road Fallowfield, Manchester M14 6ND

Telephone: 0161 275 7680 Email: manchesterstudenthomes@manchester.ac.uk Website: www.manchesterstudenthomes.com

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Unit 1-3 Ladybarn House,

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